Today is my birthday. I was blessed to have a day filled with friends, family, and no small amount of laughter. The tiny people weren’t exactly on their best behavior all day, but we still managed to have a pretty good time. Plans got thrown out the window, and I spent the boys’ naptime watching cartoons from my childhood snuggled up on the couch with my daughters.
Even though the kids were a little rotten for most of the day, I am grateful. Six years ago this week, we found out for the fourth time that we had lost a child. On that day, I would have given anything to have four children whining at me for hours. I give thanks for it now, and pray that friends and family who are still waiting for their miracle will get the answer they want to their most passionate prayer.
Because I want to spend the rest of the evening enjoying a Wegmans chocolate dome and hanging out with my best friend (who happens to be my husband, too — great benefit, that), tonight’s post is comprised of some moments from today for which I happened to have a camera handy.
Mr. Man, pulling out a chair so he could “teach” Baby Guy.
He gave Baby Guy a deck of flash cards and patiently told him what all the letters were. He was even more patient in removing said flash cards from Baby Guy’s mouth.
Nonno and Deedaw made a special trip across the river just to wish me a happy birthday.
Mr. Man was assessing the possibility of climbing into Nonno’s lap, Baby Guy was trying to pull himself up on the chair, and Beanie was trying to jump off the chair over Baby Guy’s head.
Mr. Man was pretty intrigued by the “squishing game” Bugaboo was playing with Deedaw.
My very thoughtful and loving husband knows that the best birthday dinner going for an ex-pat Baltimorean is steamed crabs.
Beautiful birthday flowers from Nonno and Deedaw.
Cheery birthday buttercups (one of my favorite flowers, actually), lovingly gathered from our front yard by Bugaboo, Beanie, and Mr. Man when we came home from playgroup today.
My aforementioned wonderful husband also remembered that ever since Wegmans opened up here, I have wanted to have a chocolate dome for a birthday cake. When I get done with this post, I’ll be enjoying a slab while listening to the Scott Joplin collection he found for me.
Today’s prayer: Lord, You have blessed me with a large and loving family and an abundance of friends who are genuinely pleased that You have seen fit to grant me another year in Your Creation. Thank You for the time they took to share joy with me, either in person, on the phone, by notes, emails, and Facebook posts. Thank You most particularly for the friend who knew the greatest gift she could give me was to tell me about the plight of a neighbor in need, and thank You for the means to ease her distress.
Please, Lord, in the coming year, help me teach Your blessings that the greatest prayer and the greatest witness to our friendship with You we can give is to love our neighbors, to rejoice in their happiness and comfort them in their sorrows, to recognize the beauty and worth in every life and every day. Help me live that witness and make my life a testament to the beauty of walking in fellowship with You.
And, Lord — thank You for enriching my life with ten children, four to hold here in my arms, and six to hold in my heart until I meet them again in Heaven.